Riga’s Hotel Latvia, a distinctive shape in the city’s skyline for the last 40 years houses one of the four prestigious Radisson Blu Hotels in Riga. The skyline bar on the 26th floor is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations.

The Hotel Latvia (Viesnīca Latvija) was completed in 1976 after 16 long years of construction, on the site of a number of historic buildings. This was part of a, fortunately never recognised, project to create a chain of skyscrapers running down Brīvības street. The hotel started working in 1979, and was one of a network of In-Tourist hotels throughout the Soviet Union.

The Hotel Latvia served both foreign and local tourist groups, who looking out their windows onto Lenin street (nowdays Brīvības iela) would see a statue of the great man watching over them. This may have been not to far from the truth, as it is rumoured that the hotel rooms were bugged and monitored by the KGB.

Nowdays guests can relax, as the hotel was fully renovated between 2001 and 2006. The Radisson Blu Hotel Latvia is now part of the Radisson Blu group, along with former soviet-era hotels, the Radisson Blu Daugava and the Radisson Blu Ridzene and the modern Radisson Blu Hotel Elizabete. You’ll find all the luxuries and facilities of contemporary hotels, and no spies.

No visit to Riga is complete without a trip in the glass elevators up to the 26th floor of the Hotel Latvia, for a drink in the Skyline Bar. From here, while sipping on a beer or Black Balsam, you’ll have an unrivaled view over all Riga.  Time it right and see the sun set over the port, reflecting off the golden domes of the nearby Orthodox cathedral.

The Hotel Latvia under construction taken from www.rigaconference.com